Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30-Year Fixed Rate Falls to Lowest Rate in Seven Weeks

Mortgage rates for 30-year fized mortgages fell this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent at this same time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 3.83 and 3.86 percent for the majority of last week, falling to the current rate early this morning.

There are several reasons why the rates continue to drop- the continued instability in Europe in addition to the uncertainty caused by the 'super committee's' failure to reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan has pushed the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate down this week. It is believed that mortgage rates will continue to stay historically low through the holiday season.

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 3.16 percent and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.57 percent.

IDS Adds Flood Disclosure to Mortgage Doc Packages

IDS added a new disclosure relating to flood insurance that is now available through the idsDoc doc prep platform.

The disclosure titled, "Flood Insurance Coverage Subject to Change," is required for lenders selling to Franklin American Mortgage Company, Mortgage Services III, LLC and Wells Fargo, and is intended to make borrowers fully aware of the right of future mortgage servicers to adjust the flood insurance coverage on their loans. Lenders were notified in October regarding the change. Franklin American requires the added language be added to all loans with application dates on or after December 1, while Mortgage Services III and Wells Fargo required it starting January 1, 2012.

The added language, which is required for all loan products, regardless whether the property is located in a Special Flood Zone, is as follows:

Flood Insurance Coverage Subject to Change Disclosure: We may assign, sell, or transfer the servicing of your mortgage loan. Your new lender/servicer may require more flood insurance coverage than the minimum amount that has been identified in your Notice of Special Flood Hazards (NSFH). The new lender/servicer may require coverage in an amount greater than the minimum, and has the right to require flood coverage at least equal to 100% of the insurable value (also known as replacement cost value) of the building(s) used as collateral to secure the loan or the maximum available under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the particular type of building. You should review your exposure to flood damage with your insurance provider, as you may wish to increase your coverage above the minimum amount required at the time of closing your loan versus what subsequently the new lender/servicer may require.

Lenders were given the option to include the new language as an addendum to the Notice of Special Flood Hazard (NSFH) and the Servicing Disclosure Statement Notice (the language must be included in both) or as a separate disclosure. IDS chose to create a separate disclosure because only three investors currently require the additional language.

"Meeting investor requirements has become a thornier issue for lenders now more than ever," said Mark Mackey, vice president of IDS. "IDS's ability to stay on top of these ever-changing requirements, as well as state and federal regulations, is one of the many reasons why lenders look to us for their initial disclosures and closing documents."

"Simplify and streamline- that is the goal for every change, update and addition we make to the idsDoc system," he added.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

IDS Thanksgiving

This time of year always seems to bring people together and remind everyone that there is much to be thankful for each and every day. It might just be the holidays, especially thanksgiving, but overall the holiday season makes us more grateful.

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Everyone at IDS is very thankful this season and going around the office I found out exactly what things matter most. Today we are celebrating an IDS Thanksgiving

Robert Anderson- “I am thankful for America.”

Melinda Peterson- “I am thankful for my kids and my job so I can take care of them.”

Rulon Doman- “I am thankful for Mountains.”

Kortney Harward- “I am thankful for new baby Grace.”

Jennette Williams- “I am thankful for family and friends.”

Sierra Boer- “I am thankful for family, friends, health, clean water, home, food, laughter and smiles.”

Ali Linthorst- “I am thankful for the beautiful place we live, the snow, mountains and my adorable husband.”

Beckie Santos- “I am thankful for my family.”

Melinda Wexler- “I am thankful for this great company (IDS) and the people to work for and with.”

Alex Myers- “I am thankful for Fruit Loops.”

Mark Mackey- “I am thankful for family and friends.”

Alicelyn Gillette- “I am thankful for music, and the passion it can invoke.”

Tanya Ottley- “I am thankful for family and a house over my head.”

Tina Faucett- “I am thankful for my hilarious husband, my empathetic daughter and my lovable son.”

Clint Salisbury- “I am thankful for my wife and kids. Good doctors and a job.”

Curt Doman- “I am thankful for family, friends, miracles and modern medicine.”

Everyone at IDS wishes you a very merry Thanksgiving full of friends, family, food and joy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are You an IDS Super User?

an IDS

As a doc prep provider, we have prided ourselves on being a custom, flexible, client specific mortgage software. Meaning we implement changes and add new features based off of what the IDS customer needs and wants.

If IDS offered you the opportunity to be part of a super user group with a 'sky's the limit' mentality, would you take it? IDS wants to see exactly what our users want, no limits, no strings attached, just a discussion about what exactly it is that you want idsDoc to do for you and for your company.

IDS wants to be able to offer a product and services that suits every situation/scenario that a lender, loan officer and borrower may experience during the mortgage document process.

If you are interested in participating in the IDS super user group contact Ali in marketing at ali@idsdoc.com

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Difference Between USDA Mortgage Insurance & FHA Mortgage Insurance

idsDoc Top:

Changes to the USDA loans brought its fair share of confusion this past month. One common topic that seemed to bring in questions from IDS clients was the monthly Mortgage Insurance (MI). Unlike FHA loans, where the MI is paid monthly, USDA loans have an annual payment for MI. The Lender/Investor collects monthly disbursements and then makes an annual payment to USDA when it is due. The MI is not being paid out monthly; a cushion is highly recommended and required for some investors. Investors create this cushion to automatically reassure that the borrower is not short funds when the annual MI is due at the end of the year.

If you need help or have questions regarding the changes to the USDA loans contact the IDS compliance department or any of your IDS representatives.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mortgage Technology Conference, Miami

It has been awhile since our last post, only because I (Ali) attended the Mortgage Technology Conference in Miami this week. What a great event, where leading mortgage professionals gathered together in beautiful weather to discuss what else, technology, oh yeah and the mortgage industry.

With great panel sessions on Compliance, Technology Solutions and much more the common threads throughout the show were: compliance, collaboration and paperless. It seems to me that compliance will never stop being a big part of our industry from now on, but with the technology we have today compliance allows us to embrace everything put in our path. As for collaboration, Nancy Alley, vice president and general manager at Xerox Mortgage Services, compared the mortgage industry to a sand box and how we are not sharing or playing well together. The need for collaboration amongst vendors is huge in the industry right now. Getting all the knowledge put together, would make us that much more successful and hopefully recover from the down fall of the industry. As for paperless, hopefully we are on our way. The classic connection to paper in our industry needs to go and as mortgage professionals we need to jump on the bandwagon of paperless and 'going green'. When will it actually happen, any thoughts?

Overall many things were seen and heard, according to Austin Kilgore, and the conference was a big success that will only continue to grow in years to come. If you want to read more about the Mortgage Technology Conference check out Austin Kilgore's article in Mortgage Technology Magazine The 2011 Mortgage Technology Conference: Seen and Heard

I courage everyone who may have shied a way from attending this conference for different reasons to considered it for next year, because it was a great conference where many thing were learned and discussed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meet an IDS Employee

Meet an IDS Employee
IDS Developer: Nick Attebury

Nick Attebury has been working at IDS for nine years and for him the best thing about working here is there is always a new challenge to take on and complete. Nick enjoys the freedom he is given and the trust to figure the challenges out on his own and to the best of his ability, while having others around that are always willing to help out so IDS can get it exactly right.

Nick has six people in his family including his parents and once upon a time his cousin worked at IDS! His favorite food is pizza and even though he does development at IDS he got a Film Studies degree with an emphasis in Animation after changing his mind about a Computer Science degree, but in the end he choose to do computer science, interesting how things turn out. Not only does Nick know lots about computers, but he loves to read. “Even as a kid in elementary school, I was reading, I have always been a big reader,” says Nick.

Reading, computers and movies, it doesn’t get any better than that. When asked what his favorite movie was, Nick responded “I can only pick one?” In the end he was able to narrow it down to five favorites movies and here they are:

-      Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back

-      Lord of the Rings

-      Serenity

-      Up

-      The Last Samurai

Nick’s Favorite Movie Quote: “Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Make sure to check back each week to learn about IDS employees.

Paperless Lending

In this month's MReport Magazine there was a brief article about paperless lending.
More Mortgage Professionals Choosing Paperless Lending
According to the MReport a recent survey shows the mortgage industry is embracing web-based, paperless trends when it comes to processing.

More loan officers, underwriters, and attorneys are filing their loan documents and closing deals in a paperless environment, according to a recent survey released by Xerox. The survey found some 61 percent of mortgage industry professionals are ditching their loan folders, logging in to online systems, and doing more business without paper.
The seventh annual Path to Paperless survey revealed some 96 percent of respondents agreeing with the notion that collaboration in the workplace depends in no small measure on a paperless environment.
"There's traction in the industry's path to achieving a true eMortgage, evidenced by the growing need to extend electronic collaboration to all participants in the loan process," said Nancy Alley, general manager with Xerox Mortgage Services.
According to the survey, the number of respondents going forward with an eMortgage rose by some 15 percent from last year.
Sixty-one percent of respondents acknowledged substituting an online system for paper in their origination and underwriting business, while another 61 percent admitted to delivering closed loan folders electronically.

Seems like paperless lending is becoming more of the norm in an industry that holds on to old ways of postal mail and paper documents. IDS has redefined the meaning of paperless with our doc prep solution idsDoc. With the options for eDelivery, eSignatures and fulfillment, IDS has always made it a priority for clients to have paperless options for their closing docs and initial disclosures. IDS eSignatures that are used for our initial disclosure packages allow our lenders, loan officers and borrowers to track, sign and archive all their documents. These options make is easier for the borrowers, the loan officers and the lenders throughout the entire process.

If you are interested in learning more about the IDS paperless options and our innovative and user-friendly eSignatures contact an IDS Sales Representative 800.554.1872

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Advantages of Advanced Technology

In today's evolving business climate, the mortgage industry faces constant change. New regulations, reporting requirements and compliance laws all demand swift action. At the same time, business opportunities abound for those companies taking advantage of advances in technology. Leveraging the tools, skills and knowledge of technology will allow and help you to work smarter and faster in today's challenging climate, giving you a competitive edge.

How do you and your company leverage technology to create success in our ever evolving and changing industry?

Miami, Will You Be There?

I (Ali Linthorst) will be in Miami for the 13th Annual Mortgage Technology Conference
Are you going? Do you want to go?

It should be a great conference with a lot of hot topics like Business Intelligence in the Mortgage Industry, Data Integrity Solutions: Enlisting Technology to Improve Data Quality, eMortgages, Automated Loss Mitigation and Mobile Technology.

Mortgage Technology wants to empower lenders to make the most informed technology decisions and learn how to use the newest technology solutions to address the most pressing issues lenders face in the current market. IDS has always prided ourselves on the innovated technology that we provide our customers, lenders and partners. Always up-to-date with the most cutting-edge technology we are able to meet the needs of the mortgage industry today. I am looking forward to the conference and learning about all the different platforms and topics that are up and coming in the industry.

IF you are interested in attending the Mortgage Technology Conference in Miami you can get more information here: http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/conferences/mortgagetech/

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Obama's Student Loan Plan Guide

Seems that not only are graduated college students recognizing and feeling the burden of their student loans, but so it President Barack Obama. He recognizes that college students and recent graduates are facing rising tuition prices and burdensome student loan debt, therefore, Obama announced a plan that seeks to lessen the burden of paying back student loans.

Here are some questions and answers about student loans:

Q: How bis a problem is student loan debt?
A: The total outstanding student debt has passed $1 trillion, more than the nation's credit card debt, and average indebtedness for students is rising. The College Board said that the average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or about 8 percent, compared with a year ago. The cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000- an all time high. The board said about 56 percent of bachelor's degree recipients at public schools graduated with debt averaging $22,000. From private nonprofit universities, 65 percent graduated with debt averaging about $28,000. Experts say those average amounts usually are still manageable, at least for those who finish a degree. But they are concerned about the rate of increase, the growing numbers wit substantially more debt and the increase in those apparently in over their heads repaying them. The Education Department said in September that the national student loan default rate for the 2009 budget year had risen to 8.8 percent.

Q: What does Obama's plan do?
A: Obama will accelerate a law passed by Congress last year that lowers the maximum required payment on student loans from 15 percent of discretionary income annually to 10 percent for eligible borrowers. It goes into effect next year, instead of 2014. Also, the remaining debt would be forgiven after 20 years, instead of 25. The White House said about 1.6 million borrowers could be affected.

Obama also will allow borrowers who have a loan from the Federal Family Education Loan Program and a direct loan from the government to consolidate them at an interest rate of up to a half percentage point less. This could affect 5.8 million borrowers according to the White House.

Q: How much does it save borrowers?
A: Some borrowers will save several hundred dollars a month in payments

Q: What's the difference between government-backed student loans and private student loans? And, does Obama's plan impact private loan borrowers?
A: Before the law change, borrowers wanting a student loan backed by the government could get loans directly from the government or the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Those from the Federal Family Education Loan Program were issued by private lenders, but basically backed by the government. The law eliminated the private lenders' role as middlemen and made all such loans direct loans. The law was passed with the overhaul of the health care system with the anticipation that it would save about $60 billion over a decade. Private loans are when students typically get all they can get from the government. They're typically from banks, and they are where students tend to get into the most trouble because they don't have the same government protections and they usually have higher interest rates. Obama's plan won't help students stuck in those. The amount of private lending has fallen sharply in recent years as lenders have cut back and demanded higher credit scores. However, for extremely expensive colleges, students may hit the maximum federal borrowing limits and have no choice but to look for private loans.

 Q: Are there other who don't benefit?
A: Borrowers already in default won't qualify. The accelerated component of the income-based repayment plan only applies to borrowers who take out a loan in 2012 or later and who also took out a loan sometime between 2008 and 2012, according to the Education Department. To be eligible for the consolidated loan component, a borrower must have both a direct loan from the government and a loan from the Federal Family Education Loan Program.

Q: The White House says the plan is free to taxpayers. How can that be?
A:  A White House official says it doesn't cost taxpayers anything because when the loans are consolidated, the government no longer has to pay a subsidy to private lenders on the Federal Family Education Loan Program loans.

Maureen Evans Arthur, 24, Undergraduate, Howard Community College has $26,000 student loan debt so far "A college degree is practically a necessity to navigate this economy, but is it worth the debt? I believe so, but I also think students should explore their options. Community colleges are an excellent way to kick start your education at the fraction of the costs of a four year institution."

Marisa Cohen, Graduate Student at UCLA has $65,000 plus in student loan debt. "I made the decision to go back to school before the economic downturn. Now I am graduating in a few months with a lot of debt and not a lot of job prospects. It scares me to think I will be carrying this number around with me for the rest of my life."

Brian Lawless, 24, Undergraduate at UCLA has $40,000 student loan debt even with financial aid. "I received financial aid and grants, yet those weren't enough and I still owe $40k. Without the loans, I wouldn't have a degree. It's a Catch-22- a degree is almost a must nowadays, but then you graduate and can't pay the loans back. It sucks."

Ifreke Williams, 27, Medical Student, Virginia Common Wealth University School of Medicine has $226,000 in student loan debt now by the time she graduates she will owe $295,000 and that is before the 7-8 percent interest. "The thought of starting life with huge debt is very frightening, especially since I plan on going into primary care and not some high-paying lucrative medical speciality or sub speciality."

There are countless college graduates who have thousands and thousands of dollars of student loan debt and no jobs to help them repay them. The choice to go to college is normally applauded, but no student at the time thinks of the challenges of money, job hunting and economic crisis until they are already getting their diploma and walking into the real world. What are your thoughts on student loan debts and the plan that Obama has stressed for the year 2012? Do you still have student loans as a professional?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Apartment Rental Rates- Continued Increases

Last week we talked about the pros and cons of renting or buying. Seeing as more people are turning to renting during this rough time it has caused an increase in rental rates. Based on information from the September Realtors Confidence Index, Realtors continue to report rental rates higher than a year ago. A total of 47 percent of respondents reported higher rental rates while 14 percent reported lower rates. The continued escalation in rents emphasizes the advantage of owning a home with a fixed mortgage- thereby fixing a significant portion of overall housing costs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Credit Unions vs. Banks

If you don't belong to a credit union- or even if you do- you may not be aware of the many ways in which they differ from banks. Although they provide the similar services, each offers different types of benefits for account holders and borrowers. Let's take a look at how credit unions work versus a bank and learn how to determine which one is best for you

How Does a Credit Union Work?
Credit unions are monetary cooperatives which individuals pool their money to provide loans and services to other members. Credit unions provide many of the same services that banks offer, including saving accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposits and loans. Credit unions are non-profit organizations that are member owned and operated. When they make a profit, it is returned to its members with high-interest rate savings or low-interest rates loans. Since banks are owned by shareholders, profits are returned directly to its investors- while its customers reap no benefits. Anyone who belongs to a credit union must first qualify to join under a particular institution's field of membership.

Why Join a Credit Union?
Because the users and members of the cooperative are the same people, the idea behind credit unions is that they provide services that are tailored to the people who use them, rather than to driving profit for the institution. In addition, each member of a credit union, no matter how small his or her holdings are, often has a voting share in the credit union's affairs. It is pretty cool that you can have a say in what goes on with your money. Credit unions do this to ensure that the organization's policies match up with what members really want. In practice, credit unions, like I mentioned earlier, offer the same services as banks and are subject federal regulations that are similar to those under which banks operate. So the same regulations that we have been seeing in banks and in the mortgage industry, are subject to credit unions as well. However, because of the democratic organization of credit unions, they are often able to offer higher interest rates and lower fees than their corporate peers. Credit unions are also much smaller and are mainly local allowing staff to give more personal customer service and attention, which several people love about credit unions, that personal relationship.

The Downsides to Credit Unions
So far everything that I have mentioned has been positive about credit unions and what they have to offer to their members, but like most things there are some drawbacks to banking with a credit unions. Mostly the drawbacks stem off of the smaller sizes of credit unions, this mean fewer branches, ATMs, as well as a lack of or lower-quality online banking options. In addition, although service at a credit union may be more personal, it will not be as robust as the 24-hour customer service many big banks provide.

The Big Banks
While it is important to compare rates and fees between banks and credit unions when you're looking to take out a loan or open a new account, what banks can provide you over credit unions is more of.... everything. Banks are often much larger allowing them to offer much more variety to its account holders. Generally, a large chain or national bank will have more loan and account options, and as mentioned earlier, a very robust customer service department that can be reach at any time of the day.

Are Credit Unions or Banks Better?
Hopefully after everything that has been said you have been able to determine to some extent which works better for you in the long run- credit union or bank. Whether you settle on a bank or a credit union depends on your needs and what you value. For those who are looking for a checking and savings account, a few money market investments and a simple loan or two, a credit union may suit them just fine. Those with more high-powered portfolios may require the horsepower that a bigger bank can provide.

At IDS we work with both banks and credit unions and know that they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Once you figure out what you want from your financial institution and do your research you should be able to find the perfect fit for you. We hope that today's blog gave you a new insight to the meaning of credit unions and their over mission today.

Please share with us any of your experiences with credit unions or banks and what helped you decide where you wanted to put your money!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book: Black Box Casino

While IDS was in Chicago for the 98th MBA Annual Conference we sponsored a book signing for the book: Black Box Casino How Wall Street's Risky Shadow Banking Crashed Global Finance. It was a great opportunity to reach out to our clients and partner up with Titan Lenders Corp and DepthPR to represent a book that so strongly relates to the mortgage industry crisis today.

Black Box Casino Author, Robert Stowe England made remarks during the conference shedding light on the Occupy Wall Street Phenomenon. You can see Stowe's remarks on YouTube

View at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv0jv-C0iWE .

Timely in light of the "Occupy Wall Street" phenomenon, England's remarks inform a topic that is at best vaguely understood even by the most financially savvy of disgruntled U.S. citizens. According to England, his determination to write "Black Box Casino" was prompted by his personal intrigue with "a monumental mystery that needed to be investigated and explained."

"When I began writing about the mortgage industry back in 1988, I found it to be a fascinating, tough industry in which free markets corrected and regulated the business," he explained, adding that he first met former Countrywide founder and CEO Angelo Mozillo the same year, conducting a wide-ranging, seven-hour interview.

For IDS this was a different experience, a rewarding experience. We hope that in this time of crisis everyone can come together and communicate and figure out a way to improve an industry that is dear to our hearts.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Renting vs. Buying

Even though mortgage loan rates are at historic lows, the housing industry still isn't seeing the numbers it wants. The lack of consumer optimism and interest in purchasing a home and taking part in the American dream no longer seems to be the case or a possibility.

This morning in the MBA NewsLink it states that the Rental 'Housing Wave' is coming. David Brickman, senior vice president of multifamily with Freddie Mac, predicts a "wave" of rental housing influences by changes in demographics and consumer attitudes toward renting. In a blog published yesterday, Brickman said the apartment market has become the house industry's and the broader economy's "poster child" for good news and optimism.

"It's an exciting time to be in this growing sector where it is projected that $1 trillion in capital and 10 million additional apartment units are needed in the next 10 years as more individual turn to apartment living," Brickman said.

The U.S. homeownership rate continues to drop; in the second quarter, the rate was 65.9 percent, the lowest rate since 1998. The sharpest decline has been for household heads under 30 years of age. Renters now make up more than 40 million households, or nearly one-third of U.S. households. For every 1 percent that the current homeownership level of 66 percent decreases, one million individuals become renters.

What is happening to the "American Dream"? Many people think of the American Dream has the possibility and goal of prosperity and success. The picture of the big white house with a picket fence, two kids, a dog and a car that was so often portrayed in the early 1950's is no longer the case, or to some extent. We have seen a new face of America as things have become a struggle and Americans are creating a dream that works for them.

The American Dream: is renting the new buying? What are your thoughts?